“He Came in Like a Hurricane”: Letterman Remembers the First Time He Met Robin Williams

Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 19 2014 11:58 AM

Letterman Remembers the First Time He Met Robin Williams

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In the wake of Robin Williams’ death last Monday, there’s been an outpouring of remembrances of the late comic, including from late night hosts Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon. The Late Show was on break last week, but last night David Letterman, who knew Williams personally for nearly four decades, returned with one of the most heartwarming tributes yet. In it, he shared the charming story of how the two first met as amateur comedians and competitors at the legendary Comedy Store in Hollywood. Unsurprisingly, Letterman’s reaction to witnessing Williams in action for the first time is priceless: “They’re gonna have to put an end to show business because what can happen after this?”

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Letterman went on to recount the time Williams invited him years later to guest-star on Mork & Mindy, a break he remembers fondly as a “double-edged sword” for being both a kind gesture and a show he had “no business being on.” You can watch a clip from that episode below.

Dee Lockett is Slate's editorial assistant for culture.

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